While swatting has certainly been an issue throughout the gaming industry for years, even becoming the center of Netflix documentary 'Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies & The Internet' , the issues is now apparent on the Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch.
Twitch has had it's fair share of issues, including harassment and hate raids, but now swatting is becoming more and more prominent as a threat to Twitch streamers.
According to PC Gamer, streamer and activist Clara "Keffals" Sorrenti was the latest victim of swatting as she awoke on August 5th as her home was being raided by police in response to a threatening email that she did not send.
Sorrenti was being swatted.
Despite her and her family's attempts to implement preventative measures to combat swatting with the London police, nothing was put into place and the efforts were thwarted. Additionally, per the report, Sorrenti claims that her treatment by London police was persistently transphobic.
London police responded with the following statement:
We are aware of public interest surrounding a recent occurrence involving London police and our response to serious threats of harm made against members of our community. That investigation is still underway, and it would be premature of me to speak any further to it at this time.
I do, however, wish to address concerns raised regarding our interactions with Clara Sorrenti who was a subject of that investigation. It has come to my attention that Ms. Sorrenti was referred to during her time in London police custody by an incorrect name and gender. We acknowledge the distress this has caused Ms. Sorrenti and we will be reviewing the occurrence to understand how that might have happened. At this time, we are still in the process of gathering the information necessary for this review.
The London Police Service is committed to bias-free policing and treating all individuals with respect and dignity. We work closely with LGBT2QSIA community partners in London to ensure we are responsive to the needs of the community, and to address any concerns they may have. We acknowledge that despite our best efforts we may fall short at times, and in those situations, we learn, we educate, and we do better.
We are in contact with Ms. Sorrenti and will share our findings with her once our review has concluded.
Sorrenti has also dealt with a suspension from Twitch, which was lifted just 3 days prior to the swatting incident. Still, her community has been supportive of her, and her efforts to bring to light the issues that marginalized and female streamers can face.
"The support has been overwhelming," Sorrenti said, per the report. "I feel like everyone came together on this to support me because they realized how horrible of an injustice this is, even people who do not watch my content and personally dislike me".
Still, despite incidents such as this, and efforts from platforms such as Twitch to date, there remains major issues with inclusivity and hate within the space. These issues can impact mental health, personal safety, and also impact the business behind creators, such as influencer marketing, advertising deals, and monetization as well.
"The reason that there aren't a lot of very high-profile trans content creators is because they get doxed, swatted, and harassed off the internet," Sorrenti said. "If you want to see trans people thrive in these online spaces, you need to show them support when things get rough".
Sorrenti has since started a GoFundMe campaign as she hopes to fund a move to a new home and create a legal fund to "seek justice."